This heirloom syrup sorghum towers over the garden at 7-9'-tall and produces seed heads with attractive red glumes (and an occasional black glume for added interest). The grain itself is red, plump, and easy to thresh. It was donated to Seed Savers Exchange by Wayne Hayes of Annville, Kentucky, in 2015. Wayne and his family have made syrup from this sorghum cane since 1948. Each plant produces 3-6 tillers.
- From the Collection
- Syrup sorghum
- 3-6 tillers per plant
This variety works for:
Sorghum seed can be cooked and added to salads or combined with other grains and vegetables to form a warm and filling main dish or side.
Sweet sorghum syrup is very labor-intensive to produce, but is a staple along with biscuits is the southern United States. It is also used on pancakes, grits, and other hot cereals.
Instructions - Sow seeds outdoors ½-1" deep after danger of frost has passed. Sorghum can self-pollinate; ‘block’ plantings are not necessary for grain production. Thin seedlings to 8" apart. Excessive nitrogen reduces syrup quality.
- Direct Seed: 4" Apart
- Germination: 4-21 Days
- Rows Apart: 36-48"
- Light: Full Sun
Ratings & Reviews
Slow to germinate but close to 100% Now 8-9 feet tall in Georgia soon to harvest and try for syrup
I didn't bother with syrup as I didn't grow that many plants, but I got so much grain off of each one that it was totally worth it. I could have planted them much closer together for more yield. The grain was very easy to thresh and winnow once we got the hang of it. I didn't know what a tiller was, but I think it means seed head. Zone 5b.
Three Sisters combination
This was my first attempt at cultivating sorghum, and was very successful with an abundant harvest of grain. I used Williams sorghum in an heirloom 3 Sisters pairing with Baby Bear Pumpkins and long pole beans. Some of the grains self sowed, therefore I’m replanting pumpkins and beans for another harvest of all 3 this Autumn in central Arkansas. I’m very pleased with the results.
Syrup is Delicous
Like the other reviewer I had nearly 100% germination. I planted 100 seeds. I harvested them for syrup. Cut the knuckles out and peeled the cane, then ran it through my juicer. 100 seeds gave me nearly 32 oz of high quality syrup after it was boiled down. It was a fun process and the syrup was delicious. Used it for tea sweetener and making cookies.